“Mommy? He’s touching the white stuff,” Katy said.
“The gauze?” Jill asked.
“Uh huh. Uncle Blane? Do you know what you’re doing?”
“Good question,” Jacob said.
“Hi sweetie,” Blane said. He came around the chair to kiss Katy on the cheek. “I’m trying to help your…”
“Daddy,” Jacob said.
Blane beamed like the Cheshire Cat. He had been after Jacob about Katy since Trevor abandoned them. He knew what it was like to be abandoned. And he didn’t want anything bad to happen to sweet Katy.
“I’m helping your Daddy get better.”
“My Daddy needs help,” Katy said.
“Yes, he does,” Jacob said.
Jacob held his left arm out and Jill set Katy in his lap. Katy gently hugged him. She kissed his cheek.
“I have to go to school,” Katy said.
“See you this afternoon,” Jacob said.
Holding Jill’s hand, Katy was almost to the door when she ran back. She climbed onto Jacob’s lap then whispered in his ear. Jacob flushed, held her close then kissed her cheek. She jumped off his lap and ran to Jill. Jill picked her up. Katy waved ‘good-bye’ before Jill closed the door behind them.
“What was that?” Blane asked. He returned to putting needles into Jacob.
“She said she loved me.” Jacob’s eyes filled. “It’s like a dream.”
“I told you. She’s a great kid,” Blane said. “Ok, one more. That should…”
Jacob felt a whoosh of relief. His pain had all but vanished.
“They’re both great girls,” Blane said. “You’re a lucky son of a bitch.”
“I know. I keep thinking I’ll wake up and…,” Jacob said. “God, Blane, that’s great.”
“We’ll keep them in for twenty minutes or so,” Blane said. “Then we’ll do it again this afternoon. When we can, we’ll start some of the salves on those scars.”
“Thanks, Blane. Really.”
“Well, shit, Jacob,” Blane said. “You’ve paid for my school, taken care of me when I’m sick… This is the least I can do.”
“You’re family,” Jacob said.
“Speaking of family,” Blane said, “your step-sister is waiting to see you. Sorry, I told her it would be a while. Then I forgot her.”
“Honey. The awful one is in Thailand. I made sure she and that tool got on the plane myself,” Blane said. His face flushed bright red with rage. “Bitch. Can you believe…”
“Getting angry only makes you sick.” Jacob put his hand on Blane’s forearm. “Did Dad give you the divorce papers?”
“No, I have them,” Aden said coming back into the room. “No anger, Blane.”
Blane nodded. He walked to the window to calm down. The Hepatitis C virus had injured his liver so that every time he got enraged, he got very sick.
“Promise me that’s going to happen for me,” Blane said. “What you have with Jill… what Aden has with Sandy… that’s going to happen for me.”
“Celia said when you were better, you would find love,” Jacob said.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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